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Will Classic Empire prove to be Mark Casse’s work of genius?

By: Bob Ehalt Will Classic Empire prove to be Mark Casse’s work of genius? Bringing home the champion: Mark Casse with Classic Empire and Julien Leparoux after the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November. Photo: Zoe Metz/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders’ Cup A little more than a week ago, Mark Casse was among the seven nominees who failed to gain the necessary votes to enter Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. Now, on the first Saturday in May, the 56-year-old Casse will get a chance to prove the voters wrong. Casse, who...

Mark Casse, Norman Casse

The long two-block journey to the Kentucky Derby

By: Pat Forde LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The rows of small, wooden-frame houses with tiny lawns and chain-link fences on Dresden Avenue are just a block from Churchill Downs. On that narrow street you can hear the crowds, see the lights during night racing – and if the wind is blowing south, you might even smell the horse manure from the barn area. Yet they’re a million miles away from the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle. Derby dreams that percolate in the hardscrabble South End neighborhood that borders America’s most famous racetrack...

Mark Casse

Thoroughbred trainer Mark Casse is riding high

By Carlos E. Medina Ocala’s Mark Casse won the Sovereign Award for the top thoroughbred trainer in Canada for an unprecedented ninth time on Friday and a day later watched his charge, Classic Empire, become the likely Kentucky Derby favorite after a win in the Arkansas Derby. This year was Casse’s sixth straight title as top trainer. With the win, he surpassed Roger Attfield, who also has won eight Sovereign trainer awards. The Sovereign Awards are Canada’s premier thoroughbred racing and breeding awards. Casse said it never becomes commonplace to...